Saturday, May 5, 2007

Palmer House Hotel

For old style luxury hotel in Chicago, the Palmer House is a great bet. The hotel is under some huge renovation, but during my stay there I didn't really notice it detracting to the extent I would expect it to. The lobby is ornate with lots of gold and marble. The type of place you expect to see old men enjoying an after work scotch.

My room was a king executive room. The executive rooms appear to be floors 21-23, floor 23 being the club level where a free continental breakfast is served in the mornings(Tazo teas, mini muffins, croissants, bagels, yogurt, juices, bottled Evian water, and coffee). and there is a cash bar until 1 am. Also the executive level rooms have a dvd player and a dvd library with free rentals. Unfortunately I didn't know about the dvd library until after I checked out. Cable was good and had HBO, so I wasn't without television.

The room itself was plush. The bed was calling me when I walked in and I sunk into it willingly. Aaaaaaaaaand I didn't want to get back out. I am loving this new standard of hotel beds. They are very conducive to a good nights sleep.

The room was a fairly good size, an armoir housed the tv and dvd player, there was a desk with the cord for internet access (it's a $10.95/day charge and there is no wireless). The cord doesn't stretch so you are limited to the desk for using your internet. My view was of the Hancock Tower and some other tall building, the pics of those didn't come out.
The bathroom was small, but well appointed. There was some nice tilework in the bathtub, and the shower head felt great! It had 2 heads, both adjustable so your back could be getting the massage function while your head got the rain function. My favorite aspect of the showerhead was that it folded down, which for someone short like me meant that I could actually adjust the showerhead! Usually I try and stretch, pull a muscle, and still have whatever function the last person chose. Or I have to stand on the bathtub edge and pray I don't slip. The towels were thick, like the ones I have at home.

The two drawbacks were the size of the bathroom, if I didn't close the bathroom door when sitting on the toilet my knees would hit the door. And this was one of the hotels that places the toilet paper roll on the same wall as the toilet, and about 3 inches out of comfortable reach. Those were the only drawbacks to the entire room.
Room service was expedient, and quite good! I ordered a cup of chicken tortilla soup, which was spicy and filled with corn and peas. But not much chicken, what was there was dark meat, and tortillas were not chips but the thin strips. Not exactly the tortilla soup I was expecting, but good nonetheless. The cedar plank salmon with grilled asparagus, grape tomatoes and spinach was the healthy entree choice (12 g. fat and 450 calories). A good size and moist. Dessert was molten chocolate cake, this is always a tricky room service dessert, since chances are by the time you get to dessert it will no longer be hot and the middle won't be oozy. However, it became clear by the time I took my first chunk out of it at least 20 min. later,that it would have been divine if eaten in the restaurant fresh out of the oven. It was still pretty amazing and eaten in less than 5 minutes.
Location of the Palmer House in convenient for anything int "The Loop" area of the city, but it is also only a mile from the shopping of Michigan Ave. About a $6 cab ride, or a 2 stop ride on the red line of the CTA. It is also close Millenium Park and makes for an attractive walk.

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